Thursday, March 26, 2009

u.s. drug policies failed, fueled mexico's drug war

Washington Post | "Clearly what we've been doing has not worked," Clinton told reporters on her plane at the start of her two-day trip, saying that U.S. policies on curbing drug use, narcotics shipments and the flow of guns have been ineffective.

"Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade," she added. "Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police, of soldiers and civilians."

Clinton appeared to go further than any senior government official in recent years in accepting a U.S. role in the long-contentious issue of the Latin American narcotics trade. In the past, U.S. politicians have accused Mexico, the main gateway for cocaine, heroin and other drugs entering the United States, of not doing enough. But two years ago, President Felipe Calderon unleashed the Mexican military on traffickers, a move that has contributed to an explosion of violence by drug gangs. More than 7,000 Mexicans have been killed in the bloodletting since January 2008, with the gangs battling authorities and one another for supremacy.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Mexico on Wednesday with a blunt mea culpa, saying that decades of U.S. anti-narcotics policies have been a failure and have contributed to the explosion of drug violence south of the border.